By Fergal MacErlean • 18 April 2022 • 15:00
Shaun Pinner, 48, and Aiden Aslin, 28, spoke separately after being prompted by a man in footage broadcast on the Rossiya 24 state TV channel.
The men asked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to help bring them home in exchange for Ukraine releasing captured oligarch Medvedchuk.
Viktor Medvedchuk, 67, is a Ukrainian opposition figure who has previously been described as President Putin’s right-hand man in Kyiv.
Pinner and Aslin were defending the southern city of Mariupol with Ukrainian marines when they were captured.
The families of Pinner and Aslin have said the British nationals are not mercenary soldiers or volunteers and should therefore be treated as prisoners of war in accordance with the Geneva Convention.
In a video released by the Ukrainians today, Medvedchuk appealed to Putin and President Zelensky to exchange him for Ukrainian soldiers taken prisoner by Russian forces.
He was captured by Ukraine secret services last week after escaping house arrest three days into the invasion. His wife has proposed swapping him for the two Britons, The Times reports.
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Originally from Dublin, Fergal is based on the eastern Costa del Sol and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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